What Does the Blockchain Mean for University Partnerships?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning at University of Illinois Springfield, and Senior Fellow at UPCEA returns to the show to remark on the acceleration of the blockchain movement during COVID-19, and how the blockchain can assist in new university collaborations.

Every four years people are leaving andchanging what they're doing and they need new credentials in order to moveforward. You're listening to enrolment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Romant at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to Enroman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWolson with helics education and were here today with race, Roder, associatebice, chancellor of online learning at University of Illinois, Springfield andsenior fellow at UPSIA ray welcome to the show. Thank so much Eric. It'sgreat to talk to you again, our very first three peat guest, many havecalled Ray. The Michael Jordan of Enroman Growth University. Today.Appearance confirms that super excited to chat with you todayabout the acceleration of the blockchain movement during covid rightbefore we dig into that. Can you remind the listeners of University of IllinoisSpringfield and your role there? Well, my role is to direct our online education program.We have twenty five degree programs spanning all of our colleges at Ouis,and we continue to grow through this epidemic. And you know things are working very wellfor people who can take their courses entirely online. Exactly right, covid has acceleratedthe evolution and adoption of a lot of new technologies over the past sixmonths across high red, have blockchain conversations or builds accelerated aswell. Well, certainly, conversations...

...continu and expand the actual buildshave been slowed by the covid process because it was all hands on deck,beginning in February, in March, to put all classes at most universitiesentirely online, and that meant the it people from you know the hand signprogrammers to the support staff to the KANTEGOGICAL staff, helping to putthose courses online and including the CIO wo, who are the ones really? Who inmany cases will lead this hand in hand. I would say, with the registrirs, well lead thisforward the development of block chain in university, we're seeing more andmore stories of collaboration between colleges, especially now I'm seeingshared virtual admission. Events between prestigious liberal artsinstitutions were seeing new consortian partnerships and cor sharing betweenhundreds of institutions. How can blockchain, similarly leverage thiscollaborative moment? Yeah you're? Absolutely right, it's fascinating! Youknow. This is something that I personally have advocated for twodecades and not been particularly successful, but in in this time bea-and I will say that you know the concern as always been well. These areour courses, our degrees, and we don't want to. You know, give up enroans. Onthe other hand, as the universiies have to put everything online and evensmaller colleges, it's a huge challenge, and so it has become evident toeveryone that this really makes sense to share courses to have faculty at oneinstitution deliver a certain course and return. The other institutiondelivers another course and, and you allow dual enrollment across thoseinstitutions. Ind We've seen some great...

...collaborations from five universitiesand western Massachusetts to Oh gosh, it you know the CIC, which is aconsortion to independent colleges and a very large one, so so we're seeing alot of that going on what blood chain brings to. That is theability to credential on one platform and universally for students, and that'sreally, you know a key piece of it, but I think let me give a little more broadlook at the way. Blockchain is interacting, or you know, has thepotentially interacting universities. It really began gosh, I don't know whotwo thousand and seventeen. I think it was that MIT developed a standard forblacksirds. They calld them as an open standard for creating issuing viewingand verifying O blockchain based credentials and certificates, so thatwas really kind of the cornerstone from most colleges and universities to beginto investigate and it's open source, and they even shared a manual of howthey went about developing it in Miti implementing it at Mit. So what itallows our our number of of great advantages- and I probably the biggestadvantage in our day- is that it lows one unifiiend electronic platform todisseminate credentials. So, on the one hand, universities can put informationin. On the other hand, employers can tap that with permission and sortthrough the database and H R can make decisions, maybe even using an AI toolto identify the best fit and then do those interviews. So it's so muchbetter and it's so much better for the...

...student. You know the students who ahad to get paper transcripts that were delayed. They needed to be notarizedand if you had a parking see well, you couldn't get the transcriptTi. You paid the feed so credentials on a block chain, most likely almostcertainly will we own by the student, not by the institution, so the studentwill be able to add credentials. Let's say they had an internship or anexternship outside the university. They could add that credential to theirblockchain entry so that when they apply, this is included with thecourses from various colleges and as we moved forward in Higher Edd, now we'resaying that no longer our students just getting a baccle Lorio, let's say big,coming back again and again, because jobs are changing. You know the USDepartment of Labor says the average tenure of a job in the United States isfour years, so every four years people are leaving and changing what they'redoing and and they need new creentials. In order to move forward. You mentionedhow students centric the origins of thinking about blockchain and higredhave been in this more collaborative hired world. That we've seen the lastfive months that we hopefully will continue to see. Is this concept of acredential on the blockchain, a really perfect currency for a future in whichwe see more in role, university partnerships and shared and romantopportunities. Yes, you make me smile because when you say currency, ofcourse, blockchain came the original application. Large application wasBitcoin, Ye and etherium now, even which is an open source public blackchain on which most universities are...

...currently testing. Those that aretesting are using etherium. Well. That too has a ether, token crypto currency that canbe used to pay for petrol or gas. So you know this is originates or is used very heavily in the EU inEurope. So, yes, absolutely so we replicate that within universities arewithin higher education, and you build your credentials on this and it's oneway that informally students can substitute but say computer science of programming, apython course from one university to another university on their prodentials.Now that leads to what we've been talking about is universitiesthemselves recognizing the substitution of individual courses, but I may addthat when one puts a course into you or virtual transcript on the block chain,it's not just the course. You know, and it's been one of the problems withtranscripts. Who could have a course number, let's say cs for computerscience, three thirty three and then the name of the course entrol pythons.Well, you didn't know what they learned you know and and so in on the blockchain. You can have example projects sample code. You can have moreinformation about what was the textbook, who was fe professor? Where did yourank in your class? If was a large class? All kinds of information can beput into that entry so that those who are evaluating you for hiring have muchmuch more information and Ar, and you can better represent yourself to apotential employer. Yes speaking about...

...that idea of having a more transparentand just helpful record when you're trying to get a new job or up level ofyour your current organization, what evolutions in blockchain adoption doyou anticipate happening with the workforce and individual employers yeah,and I see on all front. So I guess you know I mentioned too, and so, let'slook at a then diagram. Perhaps you know in our minds: One are the Group ofuniversity, so one big circle for that one big circle for the students and thethird even bigger cirple, is for the employers and prospective employers. Soall three forces are served universities because right now,honestly, it's a big pain for most universities to crank theseout. I mean some in fact have delegated the opportunities to the clearing houseand- and they can generate some of these things, but it's still, you know,you'r still keeping track of it and and that's not really the core of teachingand learning. You know it. It's kind of a side job for students. There aretechallenges of how do you? How do you show yourself on a transcrit whenyou're thirty, seven years, old and and yeah, you got a backaloriat, a D, maybean NBA, but you know you've gote. All these ove plangs you've led some bigprojects and maybe in fact, you've got a patent or you've developed somethingnew. How do you get that into hr as you're applying so that they see whatyou're doing and then from the employers? What a mess? You know youannounce a job and you GOIN TA stack of two and a half por tall of of peopleapplying and letters and, Oh you know all of that. It would be so much easierif you could just tap it off a block...

...chain and have ai have a program gothrough that and quickly tabulate. You know a what are your tea points. Theyhave to do this and this and demonstrate that and for othe things.Well, now, now we've sorted all of them down now. The NEAP thing about theseentries are by the way that if you list o college course, the universityvalidates it. It is secure and validated or let's say it's an employer.Maybe you work for a corporation, you know IBM or Walmart for that matter andthey validate what you put in there so that it carries that kind ofimpremotour that FAM. That says you did that and yes, we stand behind it that that yousucceeded or didn't, but you probably wouldn't want to put up what you didn't,but but that you succeeded to this degree. So that's really a much betterway and it's you know is we enter this fourth industrial revolution. It's theway thing should be done not on paper good eavens. You know and Stale Mail. It's not the way to get transcriptionsout righ when you think about where that conversation andtransparency is happening. If you think about a a marketplace for the newblockchain credentials or resume of the future, are wemost likely for that tobe an evolution of Linkein is hat part of a university's career center. Is itone of these collaborations between many or all, universities like wetalked about earlier in the episode, but what's the most likely place wherethis this employer view of the individual's record lives? That's a agreat question. You know, I see it starting in in those areas that thatyou mention. We see it starting at...

...colleges and universities and, ofcourse, MIT and Harvard number of institutions theree. Dozens of them aredoing it now, not a thousand, but but there are dozens and and in Europethere are quite a few that are doing it that are using the black changes,dissiminate prudentials, but so we see institutions starting this. Certainlythey are a player and an important player, but we also see that there areemployers that are are kind of generating or categorizing cataloging,rather applications that they get so that they're kind of creating their owninternal version of it and then linked in is a great example of you know, kindof now nearly youpit with this site. That holds those very brief resumes ofindividuals and yet they're so free form. You know that it doesn't give you. Yes, it'selectronic, but it's free form and yes, there's lots of data that you can getfrom lengin. You can see where persons who braduated from that program wherethey were, and so you can see, yeah it's a credible program not just bytheir advertising but backed up by linked in so so. There are pieces thatcome from each one of these areas, yeah I'm not sure how it's going to goforward. I mean it'll be interesting to see if the EU, which is I had in someways with they had a grinigan decoration that they set some time agoand what it did was really created an agreement to work towardcreating an easily accessible, highly transportable and secure educationalprudential, and you know, of course it's based on blontchain. So we see themovement over there. It could be that...

...it comes from Europe or it could bethat it comes to the US, certainly Mi t and Harvard for there first, you knowand we'll see those develop. So you know it's hard for me to say yeah rightnow again with covid and the economy. You know it's really hard to tell. Ithink that by next fall we're going to be in a much more stable situation andeverybody's going to be jumping forward on this. I think that we're findingthat colleges in universities are not going back. They won't go back fully tothe only solely campus based experience and so electronics and online courses,which means, if they're online, we're now bringing in adult learners, whichalso then means that they're going to want to mixprudentials for professional. Continuing Education with those fromtraditional degrees were a really great stuff. Any next TEPs advice forlisteners who are trying to leverage the moments they've seen happen withother attech investment at their institutions. This year, they're tryingto push some blockchain progress through right now. Where should theystart first? Well, I think they really need to ininvestigate the technology.You know it's not a huge investment. I mean it's programming, but this is nota secret blockchain. Programmers are not inexpensive now and, in fact,they're one of the highest paid right out of college. I think up to eightytwo, a hundred thousand dollars a year or something like that and so yeahblockchain would need to be outsource and the like. But one wouldone should begin. I think, with that MIT manual mit, is published a good bitof stuff, a lot of per reviewed publications on the topic, and you knowthey have that whole standard for...

...blocks, or so people can begin tounderstand it. I think that we also could look at Gosh. You know the Eou and what they'vedone with their agreements and where they're moving so begin with theresearch began with the examples, maybe have a virtual guest speaker on thetopic and with your it department, as well as your academic leadership aswell as the branchistars office. You know the Registar at the university.It's not their favorite job handling all the transcripts. So but you knowthey want to make sure it's done credibly, but, but they may be, youknow willing players in this whole process. Rea thanks. So much for yourtime today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you if theyhave any follow up questions, sure you can just race roder at GMAILCOM andI'll get right back to you. I think that's probably it. Otherwise. I haverace PROUDERCOM, you all run together, site and that hand all the links, aswell as my free blogs that people can follow what what I'm sharing on thesetopics. He is always a good, read and always a great mind thanks against somuch for joining us today, Ray thank you or attracting today's new post,traditional learners means adopting new enromant strategies. Keliks educationsdata driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquelyhelping colleges and universities thrive in this new education, landscapeand Helox has just published the second edition of their enrollment growthplaybook, with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solvetoday's most pressing enromant growth challenges download it today for freeat Helocks, Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never missd anepisode subscribe to the show, an...

...itunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (216)